Why One of the Hardest Spiritual Disciplines to Master Can Be the Most Rewarding

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Waiting. It seems like I have spent my entire life simply waiting for something, or for God to move on my behalf. How many ordinary days have dragged along when I had my heart and mind set on tomorrow?

The truth of the matter is this: we all have to wait for something! And it is my personal choice whether I will wait well or wait poorly.

"Wait for and confidently expect the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for and confidently expect the LORD" (Ps. 27:14, AMP).

Perhaps it would be a powerful discipline if we refused to worry while we were in a waiting zone. Worrying is a waste of time, energy and emotions. While you are waiting, throw away negativity like yesterday's garbage.

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Don't become bitter while you wait. Don't mistakenly suppose that nothing will ever change for you. Bitterness always turns into selfish anger. Anger will change a fruitful life into a futile life.

Another suggestion is to refuse to whine and complain while you wait. Invest yourself in productive and healthy activities, such as volunteering at a homeless shelter, babysitting for a young family, taking an elderly couple out to lunch, or perhaps inviting people over for dinner and a game night.

"But let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; because You cover and shelter them, let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You. For You, O LORD, bless the righteous man [the one who is in right standing with You]; You surround him with favor as with a shield" (Ps. 5:11-12, AMP).

Talk the language of hope while you are waiting! The only language that should be spoken in the waiting room of life is the language of hope.

Worship your way through the wait! Sing yourself to sleep and whistle while you work. The song of your heart should be at its loudest when you find yourself in the waiting room of life.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable" (Isa. 40:28, NASB).

What do you do when you find yourself in "the wait"? The days that I am in the wait, I spend more time in the Word. The Word comforts my weary heart while I am in the wait. The days that I am in the wait, I spend more time in worship. Worship places my eyes on who He is!

It is in the wait that I discover I am not alone. God is with me in the wait. There is nobody I would rather wait with than Him. I find it a far more powerful choice to simply wait with Him than to wait for His hand to move.

It is in the wait that I discover a strength I never before had. It is impossible to wait and remain weak when one waits with the Lord.

"He gives strength to the weary, and to him who has no might He increases power. ... But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; they will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not grow tired" (Isa. 40:29, 31, AMP).

Waiting is not for wimps. But then again, maybe waiting IS for wimps. Perhaps it is in the wait that wimps become warriors.

It is who you wait with that makes all of the difference. It is also in the wait with God that I discover a tenacity that I never before possessed; my vision is refined and my desires are purified.

I think that I am only waiting, just hanging around until life happens, but God sees the wait as the stuff of which life is made. He made me for the wait and for the work that it accomplishes in me.

When I realize the purpose and the productivity that waiting achieves, "the wait" becomes my favorite place to live! I become stronger and more like Jesus as I commit my times of waiting to Him.

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written 12 books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's Jolt of Joy program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol at justjoyministries.com.

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